Rob Strong is lead pastor of Grace Community Church, a congregation located just north of Boston. He holds a master's in theology from Wheaton College Graduate School and is the author of The Big Guy Upstairs—the book from which this week's readings are adapted. Rob loves to spend time at the beach with his family and he also enjoys golf, snowboarding, waterskiing, and watching Bruins hockey and Patriots football. He and his wife, Susan, have four children.
What he Said … What Brings God Joy?
When my wife surprises me with "taco night" at our house, that makes me happy. When I find a few spare dollars in my pocket or time to sit for my favorite movie, that also makes me happy. But joy is different. Joy is deeper than happiness and rises from within the soul rather than from circumstance. It redefines a situation, makes it more meaningful, and you feel it in your bones.
When one of my children climbs on my lap and wants to be held, I experience joy. Or when I have a thoughtful conversation with someone who is considering a more meaningful understanding of God, that brings me joy. Or when I can spend time with Susan at our favorite restaurant, alone, just connecting. Yes, that brings me incredible joy.
Now consider God. What could he possibly want or need that would cause him to pause, take notice, and then smile? What would provoke joy in the Creator's heart and make him want to shout throughout the heavens?